Peggy May is preparing some Christmas wreaths for sale at the Christmas Fair this Thursday and Friday 1pm to 7pm in the Kilchoan Gallery and Craft Shop. She was out in the storm this afternoon collecting different foliage from around the hills to make these beautiful wreaths. There is a limited amount so pop in earlier to get your handmade wreath.
The minutes of the latest meeting of the West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company are available for download here. As its name suggests, this is a locally-run company dedicated to the improvement of this community. It is based on a membership which currently stands at 19 out of a local population of over 250. The company is therefore very anxious to increase its membership, particularly as it faces important decisions in the coming months. The current directors are Rachael Haylett (Chair), Jac Crosbie (Secretary), Jessie Colquhoun, Rosie Curtis, Davie Ferguson, Ritchie Dinnes, Maggie Hallsworth, Jon Haylett, Gill Haylett, Sharon MacLachlan. They will be approaching people over the coming weeks asking them to join. Alternatively, contact the Kilchoan Diary by email, and you'll be sent an application form.
This is the text of a press release from Free Crossing for Corran, issued today:
The community campaign to secure the future of the Corran crossing is seeking legal counsel to dismiss Highland Council claims that EU ‘State Aid’ rules prevent them from supporting the lifeline ferry service that connects some of the most fragile rural communities in the Highlands and Islands to the rest of the mainland.
This follows high-profile support from MSP John Finnie and former Council leader Dr Michael Foxley, who have both dismissed the authorities claims as a smokescreen.
The campaign is also calling for transparency in Council accounts and a place at the table in government talks to determine the future of the lifeline.
Following the recent Highland Council report and meeting on the current Corran Ferry service and its ever-increasing fares, and other council visits to the area, FC Corran met to respond to accusations from the council of a lack of community interest and claims that ‘State Aid’ prevented any local government financial support for the service.
Convenor, Tony Boyd, said, “The State Aid argument is simply a smokescreen for a council who are unwilling to deal proactively with this service. The EU rules do not apply and we are currently seeking legal advice on this. We are delighted that Mr Finnie has spoken out so categorically on the issue.”
The main obstacle to progress remains a lack of clear information on the true costs of the service, with no real picture on whether the service really runs at a loss, or if it is self-supporting.
Tony Boyd said, “The problem for the community and the campaign is that we are working in an information vacuum. Highland Council have supplied some figures in isolation, but what is needed is a complete audit of the ferry budgets to see the true picture of the finances of the operation, which is the second busiest crossing in Scotland.
“Local councillor Thomas MacLennan requested an audit back in the spring of this year on our behalf, and we are still waiting.”
The FCC group have also drawn up a list of key challenges for Highland Council and await the authority’s response with interest.
Highland Council must provide accurate figures on Profit & Loss accounts and overall budget for the Corran Ferry, and carry out an audit as officially requested several months ago.
Highland Council should publish the legal opinions on which they base their assertions on ‘State Aid’. FCC are seeking their own independent advice.
Highland Council must work with the community to look at cost savings, without compromising the service, rather than continuing to increase fares. The group welcome the new approach of the HC to have real consultation with the representatives of the group, but remain conscious of several recent ‘tick-the-box’ public engagements.
Highland Council must ensure that FCC and the community are clearly represented at the planned meeting between Highland Council and the Scottish Government - an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the Government’s stated aim of transparency.
Highland Council must take clear and committed action to ensure a long term, and sustainable, solution to the Corran Crossing, whether a fixed link or new vessels.
ACA will hold a meeting on Monday 8th December at 8.00pm in the Kilchoan Learning Centre to discuss progress so far, to plan for the winter season, and to look at funding for future activities and training.
Want to find out more about the 3 species of deer (including the red ones) with which we share the peninsula, why they behave the way they do, how they are managed, and just what they mean to our environment and to the local economy?
Come and hear Niall Rowantree talk about all these things on
Friday 21 November at 7pm in Kilchoan Learning Centre
The unconfirmed minutes of October's meeting of the West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company are available for download here. Any relevant comments or points should be made to the Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please see the following information regarding the current Highland Council budget consultation. You can complete the online survey as an individual, or feedback your thoughts on the key issues for West Ardnamurchan to me at email@example.com (Please note new email address!!!!) You can read the full survey without completing the online version from this link. BudgetConsultation 2014 – Phase 2
Thank you for agreeing to be part of the Highland Communities Panel. This is a difficult time for Highland Council. We are facing increasing costs and demand for services but will not receive an increased cash grant. This means we need to address our budget gap of £64million over the next four years. We are making changes internally to save money but we will need to make changes in how we provide services.
This survey is very important: it outlines our proposals to save money and how these proposals may change the services we provide. This is your opportunity to let us know how these proposals could affect your group/ organisation and the wider community.
The survey will take around 30 minutes to complete. You can access the survey using the link below:
Clare Holohan's next date for herbal medicine and massage treatments in Kilchoan will be Monday 24th November. She already have a lot of bookings so spaces are limited, book quickly to avoid disappointment!
In February this year six of the best young
musicians in Scotland competed in the BBC Scotland Young Traditional Musician
of the Year awards, held at the City Halls, Glasgow. This was the culmination
of months of auditions and heats to narrow down the breadth of Scotland's
musical talent to six worthy finalists.
The competition was extremely close with the judges
finally voting Robyn Stapleton from Stranraer as the 2014 winner. Also within
the group of finalists was Neil Ewart from Kilchoan who impressed with his
Off the back of the final the 2014 Tour is now
underway and involves visiting the home locations of all this year's finalists,
and we are fortunate to be welcoming such talent to Kilchoan. The group is also
pleased to have with them last year's winning finalist Paddy Callaghan.
We hope you can join us for what will be a great
evening of musical entertainment.
Well-known author Jenny Robertson will be at Kilchoan Learning Centre on Tuesday 7th October at 7pm to tell some of the fascinating true stories that lie behind these books. Wojtek was an orphan bear cub rescued by young Poles in Persia in 1943. Hear all about his amazing journey and more!
Putting the independence debate into the hands of
Community conversations to consider the big question: Should Scotland be an independent country?
An opportunity for local
people to discuss the issues that matter to them.
To discuss the cases for and
To gain a deeper
understanding of some of the big issues at stake.
A Big Vote event will be held at Kilchoan Community
Centre on Monday 8th September at 7.00pm.
The event takes the form of small group
discussions, based around a card game that has been specially designed to
promote conversation about many of the key issues and arguments that surround
the debate. So, whether or not you have made your mind up about which way
to vote, why not come along and have a chat about your concerns?
The event will be facilitated by Pete Sach from the Scottish Community Alliance with John Finnie MSP and Mary Scanlon MSP on
hand to support the table based discussions, answering questions or providing
clarification when called upon to do so.
on this link for more information on Big Vote events.
This is a one day course which includes both theory and practice (some of the goats that you will be working with are in this picture), designed to cover the fundamentals of goat husbandry, giving everyone the opportunity to handle goats and practise skills such as fitting a halter, foot-trimming and milking. The course will cover:
Selecting the appropriate breed with a consideration of milk yield, fibre quality, meat production value
Health and safety considerations.
Legislation relating to goats: tagging, transport, slaughter, etc.
Grants and subsidies
Goats and other animals on the croft/smallholding
Requirements for shelter and grazing
Goat health, common complaints and treatments
Sources of further information
The course will run from 9.30am until approximately 6pm. We will meet at Kilchoan Learning Centre for the introduction to the course, and then move on to Craigard Croft (about half a mile away) for a chance to meet some goats and practise goat keeping skills. The tutor, and owner of Craigard Croft is Tom Bryson. You can read more about him and his croft on his blog: http://craigardcroft.blogspot.co.uk The fee for the course, which includes refreshments and lunch (including goat produce) is £90.
The course is eligible for ILA, which, if you are yourself eligible, will give you £200 towards the fees for eligible courses. To apply for an ILA call 0800 917 8000. You should do this right away as the ILA approval process takes about 3 weeks. To be eligible your personal annual income must be less than £22,000 and you must not be a student or have a degree.
If you would like to book a place on the Goat Keeping course, please let me Pat Glenday know as soon as possible as places are limited.
Try your hand at Clay Pigeon Shooting, August 22 & 23rd Bank Holiday weekend at the Sonachan Hotel, Ardnamurchan.
Everyone Welcome, total novices, ladies, gents and children over 12 years old. Suitable for all levels of ability.
The Clay Pigeon Shoot includes 30 shots, clays and instruction, and lasts between one and two hours depending on the size of the group. Cost is £30 per person, and advance booking is necessary.
Phone Sonachan 01972 510 211 or leave a message on the event facebook page.
Fully supervised tutoring is on hand by A.P.S.I. instructors who have years of experience within clay pigeon shooting as well as all aspects of game shooting. They have developed a huge knowledge and understanding of the art and techniques of shooting which they are happy to share with you - so you can be sure to hit that clay at some point during the day!
Your party will receive a full briefing to ensure you handle the shotguns correctly and to give you the best chance of hitting the clays. Qualified, friendly & professional instruction, gun hire, cartridges, hearing and eye protection, and insurance are all included They ensure that everyone receives a full briefing of gun handling, safty and shooting etiquette as well as basic coaching geared to individual needs. Spectators welcome, take lots of photos!
Saturday & Sunday, 10am - 1pm for learners and total beginners, then 2pm - 5pm Sat & Sun we are having a wee bit of a competition to see who is THE BIG SHOT!
Marine Harvest have lodged papers requesting planning permission for a new site for a salmon fish farm comprising 12 x 120m circumference circular cages in a 75m mooring matrix, and a 200 tonne capacity C-Cap feed barge, to be moored off MacLean's Nose. As part of this, they will be installing a pontoon by Mingary Pier. If the community talks to Marine Harvest, there's a strong chance that we will benefit by being able to use this pontoon. The development is also likely to see the creation of six full-time and two part-time jobs. Personally, I have made a comment supporting the application. The application, number 14/02568/FUL, can be viewed here.
The West Ardnamurchan Community Development Company, which helped deliver the highly successful Kilchoan Playpark, has organised an open meeting next Tuesday to discuss ideas for future projects. There have already been some suggestions. These include -
A new shop
A community minibus
One possibility is to appoint a Development Officer to find funding for, and push through projects which the community wants. The Development Officer would have to obtain grants so he/she was self-funding, at least for the first year. Another option is to do nothing.
Please come along to express your views and help make decisions at the Kilchoan Community Centre tomorrow Tuesday, 12th August, at 7.30pm.
Here’s a reminder of this year’s West Ardnamurchan Show competitions. It would be fantastic if everybody entered at least one thing. Please get your entries to me, in the small marquee at the sports field, between 10am and 11am on show day – 25 July. It’s £1 per entry for adults, and £1 per child, no matter how many classes they enter. If you have any questions please get in touch.